Thursday, 27 November 2014

Black bustle skirt aka the Frankensteins bride skirt.

A friend nicknamed this skirt the Frankensteins bride skirt because it is made with pieces of leftover fabric from my fabric stash. Usually I buy the fabric I need for a costume but this time I challenged myself to make a costume from my stash.

The pattern I used was one of my favorites TV 261, 1885 Four gore underskirt. I have had it for several years so I have the old version of the pattern not the revised version.

I didn't have enough fabric for the wide ruffle like in the old version so I made the ruffle smaller, like in the new version.

I used four different types of fabric; velvet, wool, small pieces taffeta with velvet flock print  same as my bodice and plain taffeta.


For a marriage of so many fabrics I am quite happy with the result. If I had had more fabric I would have made the knife pleats smaller and closer together. 


And I would have added an extra row of decoration to the back. The fabric is easy to come by and it's cheap. So I might consider adding a row next year.

 I am done working on Victorian costumes for the moment because I have to get started on  St. Nicolas poems and surprises (funny way to pack presents).  They have to be done for St.Nicholas evening on the 5th of December. Also there is my son his thirteenth birthday this sunday!

I am really looking forward to this years Anton Pieck Parade in Haarlem!

Monday, 17 November 2014

Progress report on my black bustle costume.

I see that it is a month since my last blog. I apologize for neglecting you my dear readers but I've been incredibly busy. Not only with working on my costume but also doing volunteerwork, studying and household chores. A day often just doesn't have enough hours to do all the things I want and need to do.

A project is always more work than you think when you start. This time it is no different. The problems started when I decided to work with the fabric left over from last years bustle overskirt. The original plan had been to make a tail bodice from this fabric but when I ran out of time I decided to make an overskirt instead. I thought I would be able to get more of this fabric but unfortanetly this ended up not being the case.

As I didn't have enough fabric to make a long tail bodice I decided to make the short version instead. Unfortanetly I had the old version of the Truly Victorian pattern without the short tail and different neckline options. This meant making quite a lot of alterations to the pattern, Something I hadn't really done before. The upside was that I could adapt the pattern to fit the amount of fabric I had left!

After sewing the pattern pieces together and hand sewing all the seams allowances flat. I found out that my seams where weak and falling apart. My sewing machine went to the repair shop for some tlc. Unwilling to start all over again I reinforced all the seams by hand and ended up with numb fingers. The fabric is satin with a velvet flock print and the flock print was very hard to get through. When I was done reinforcing the seams my machine still wasn't back from the shop. So I started work on sewing my boning in. 

When my machine came home I could finally set in the sleeves and work on the button closure. The antique (victorian?) black faceted glass buttons where purchased a couple of years earlier on Ebay.
In the picture you can also see my black chemisette. 

Getting the neckline to fit properly and the black satin piping in neatly in place was a real challenge. Lucky for me my husband was here to help! 

The final step was sewing the collar and the chinese frog closure on. I am really happy with how the bodice turned out! I already started work on the skirt to go with it. It has been nicknamed the frankenstein's bride skirt because it has been made from several pieces of fabric from my stash as well. 
I try to spend as little money as possible on this costume and make it with thing from my stash.